We've Got Our Coach!

Within 24 hours of going 8-4 in his inaugural season at the helm of UNC Football, Larry Fedora found himself the second longest tenured “major college” football coach in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area.  Only Duke’s David Cutcliffe has been in his current position longer than Larry.
One of Coach Fedora’s eight victories, of course, came at the expense of the, then, Tom O’Brien-coached NC State Wolfpack.  TO’B’s fateful decision to punt to Gio Bernard in those waning moments accelerated the coaching discontent that seems to ever-fester among the Carter-Finley crowd like a peat bog fire.  
That Gio-hangover was so debilitating that O’Brien’s gridders somnambulated themselves a week later versus the woeful Hoos of UVa.  Those eight days and the resulting howls from the West Raleigh lunatic fringe convinced NCSU AD Debbie “Frau” Yow to pull the trigger on The Ruddy-faced Marine after six years. 
For all their high-tone talk about “building character” and “running a clean program,” UNC’s sister institution has decided to once again go asearchin’ for a savior to lead them to wherever the heck they think they belong.   Apparently a series of Whozit Bowls wasn’t it.
Early mumbling from the Yow-led search party center on Vanderbilt’s James Franklin because he and Frau were together at Maryland.   This is a version of the Sean Miller basketball search that ended with Mark Gottfried.   Choices beyond Franklin will likely go the usual lunatic path of Cowher – Gruden – Belichick – Saban – et al.
Life offers fewer on-looker pleasures more enjoyable than an NC State coach search.  If you’ve never watched one of these wild ‘n woolies, I definitely recommend doing so.  Keep in mind that the Internet and talk show comments you will be absorbing come, for the most part, from humans who can breed and even vote….. and operate heavy machinery.
Meanwhile amid Kenan’s lofty pines, the off-season preparation for The Fighting Fedorians version 2013 begins immediately.  Seventeen seniors depart including the last remaining Barth Brother.  Haven’t we had a Barth doing our placekicking since we switched to soccer-style back in the 70s?
I have it on excellent source that Coach Fedora knows that Defense was a bit of concern this year among some factions of HeelNation.  Personally, I’m just fine with Pinball Football so long as we have the highest number on the scoreboard.  That said, seeing an opposing QB sacked every now and then would be nice.
I have every confidence in Larry Fedora knowing what his team needs to get better and how to achieve that state of being.  I’ve been impressed with every thing I have seen and heard from “our coach”.   I am one fan who does pay attention to off-field behavior as well as Fall Saturdays.  Bring in youngsters who can run, jump, and benchpress a Buick….. and who behave themselves….. AND can navigate UNC’s academic curricula.  
Coach Fedora and Bubba The Real AD are “good people”.  If you haven’t met either / both try to do so at any opportunity.   Ask them stupid question if you must.  Their tolerance for such is limitless.   Engage them with your interest and support.
UNC Athletics has labored under some most unfortunate revelations over the past several years.  Mistakes were made and oversight was, in many cases, non-existent.  Some individuals responsible for that oversight are no longer employed at UNC, or at least in the athletic department.   Healing our wounds is a painful process but a mandatory one.
Support UNC Athletics to the degree you are comfortable.  Fans are fickle and tough times usually lighten the load of any bandwagon.  ….. and do try and watch that lunatic fringe at State during their coach search.   Guaranteed to be more fun than a box of puppies.
More BobLee at www.bobleesays.com


The Return of UNC Football

I’m sure most of you saw UNC beat Elon 62-0. What a thrill that was to start not only the 2012 football season, but Larry Fedora‘s era at UNC. If Saturday was anything to go by, we’re going to have a great season!
What’s sad is that, with these great players and coaches, we won’t be able to head to a bowl game because of the whole NCAA fiasco. But even if we miss postseason play, I hope that won’t take too much away from the regular season.
But, of course, the rest of the teams we play this year will not be as easy to beat as Elon. So will we still be able to win? Probably a lot of games. But will we have victories that stunning? Probably not.
To be honest with you, I am a fan of Fedora’s no-huddle offense. Because you could definitely see it wearing on Elon, I think it’s a sign it will work on many opponents this season.

Speaking of Fedora, he obviously did very well at his first game at Carolina. So in a couple of years, when he’s fully integrated with his players and staff, we can hope that he will transform Carolina football into something great.
We do have some great sports teams. For instance, in basketball and baseball, we are very talented. But adding football to that mix would be so fun.
But it wasn’t just Fedora and the players who did a great job yesterday – it was us too. The fans could be arguably considered the most important part of any sport.
In the first half, the stands were filled with fans turning the stadium blue and cheering on our team. The players definitely noticed it, and I’m sure it encouraged them to score 62 points and keep Elon to zero.
So what did you think of the game? Do you think Fedora will be successful? What will this season be like for the Tar Heels? Let me know by commenting below.